Thursday, October 2, 2008

City Council Retreat – “the best ever”

City Attorney William Hackworth, exclaimed that this had been “the best retreat ever.”

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The day began promptly at 8:30 AM with an ambitious agenda that lasted until 4:00 PM. The Retreat was held at the Police Department on Campbell Avenue in the community center. The facilitator was Bill Kennan who teaches at Radford University.

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The morning session was centered around Process, Information, and Priorities. It ranged from televising briefings to Councilman Nash’s 30 minute questioning on why the Mayor gets the last word at Council meetings. After an exhaustive explanation on that by Mayor Bowers and Vice-Mayor Lea, Councilman Nash then said he did not want to “seem petty” about it. Mayor Bowers explained that since the Mayor chairs the meetings he is restrained from interjecting his comments during the comment period. Vice-Mayor Lea explained that the Mayor is busy recognizing everyone else and it is not easy when Council members start talking to each other rather than waiting to be recognized by the chair. The Mayor is also restricted from making motions while chairing a meeting and that is why he relinquished the chair to Vice-Mayor Lea when he wanted to make a motion at a previous meeting.
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Mayor Bowers said there are many times he would like to get into the discussion but has to restrain himself and wait until the end before a vote. He said that it does not mean that anyone would not be recognized in response to his comments and recalled that he had done just that. Other Council members agreed that was the case. Though Nash still admitted to wanting to have “the last word.” Everyone “chuckled” as it was said in a good-natured way.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, Roanoke City Politics

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